Williams brings back science fair competition

An educated guess, otherwise known as a hypothesis, was the talk of the hour last Wednesday evening at the Williams High School gymnasium. Over 150 people waited outside for the opportunity to view all 180 entries at the 2019 Williams JR./SR. High School Science Fair.  

“This is the first time we have had a science fair since 2012,” said Williams JR./SR. High School Principal, Dr. Richter, “All the science classes from grades 7-12 participated.”

Williams teachers engaged students in the discovery, results, and the presentation of science. Students were asked to place their scientific research, experiment results and analysis on display boards. “Students have worked hard, learned many new skills and are excited to show off their work,” stated school officals from the Williams Science Department. 

Color coded tables were filled with five different categories of projects: Anatomy & Physiology/Forensic Science, Biology, Chemistry/Ag Chemistry, seventh grade science, and eighth grade science. Projects such as “Music and plant growth” by Jesus Cervantes and “What affect does air have on the spoilage of cooked organic hamburger?” by Noemy Salazar and Laura Canchola were judged prior to the public reveal. 

“Students had about two months to complete their projects,” said English teacher, Teri Sebree, who also served as judge. “Most of the projects were well organized and thought out. We are taking notes and planning for improvements next year, but overall this is a great turn-out and I am happy to see this event return to our schools.”

Students were scored on eight different categories with a possible 100 points. Scoring came down to the wire in the seventh grade category, several projects came down to just a point difference.  Receiving a total of 98 points, seventh graders Kamilia Ocampo and Briseida Rocha earned a first place finish with their project, “Which has greater amount of DNA, fruits or vegetables?” 

“This was my first time ever doing a project like this,” said Ocampo. “When Briseida and I started the project, it was going to just be on the amount of DNA in strawberries. Then we thought about different fruits and bringing vegetables into the project,” Rocha and Ocampo’s project took a full week of planning and researching with minimal help. “My younger siblings and parents helped out a little bit, but we did most of the work ourselves. Learning to extract DNA was a lot of fun and I am excited for next year,” said Rocha. Results of Ocampo and Rocha’s experiment determined that vegetables contained a half ounce more of DNA than fruits.

The students whose projects placed in the top three from each category will be attending the Exploratorium in San Francisco on April 18. Winning projects also received medals. 

“A special thank you to the judges, Starbucks of Williams, for your donation of coffee and goodies for our judges, to the ASSETS program for providing support and funding items and supplies, the maintenance staff, all of our science teachers, and to all who came out to support and acknowledge our student’s great talents.” ■

The following is a list of winners by category: 

Category 1: Anatomy & Physiology/Forensic Science

1st Jasmine Arreola, Roxanne Gomez and Esteban Zamudio “The myth behind grape soda”

2nd Raymond Duran “Investigator bias”

3rd Alondra Cano, Aracely Reyes “What are we really eating”

Category 2: Biology

1st Jaime Campos and Iqbal Sahota “Orange juice vs sports drinks”

2nd Nelly Martinez and Andrea Cerrantes “Finger prince”

3rd Mark Moran, Miguel Valdez and Valeria Sillas “Solar vehicle”

Category 3: Chemistry/Ag Chemistry

1st Jasmin Paiz “How does creatine affect weight gain in hamsters?”

2nd Brenda Rivera, Jose Perez and Adan Solis “Burning calories: Calorimetry”

3rd Paola Orduno and Litzie Leos “How do fertilizers affect plant growth?”

Category 4: Seventh grade science

1st Briseida Rocha, Kamila Ocampo “Which has a greater amount of DNA, fruits or vegetables?”

2nd Esme Velazquez “Bath bomb science”

3rd Alexa Madrigal, Valeria Vargas “Mag-nificent breakfast cereal”

Category 5: Eighth Grade Science 

1st Jose Galvan, Enrique Landeros, and Yazmyne Zamudio “Walking water”

2nd Alexa Barrera, Francisco Guzman and Paula Rocha “Muffin and density”

3rd Brianna Jaime, Edgar Paiz, and Jocelyn Paiz “Sugar free gum vs sugary gum” ■